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Understand these 4 key workplace trends to successful adapt your plans for 2015

Wondering what might be on trend for your workplace in 2015? The Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology (SIOP) asked their 8,000 members to came up with their top trends impacting the workplace for 2015. We have combined their predictions with information we see emerging in the Canadian labour market to offer a window into what you may see over the course of the next year.

 1) Technological Enhancements Abound

It is not difficult to guess that technology and the impact of technology was prominently featured on the minds of these industrial and organizational psychologists. In particular they were focused on technology that is used to enhance how work is performed and technology that allows for mobile access to how people work, what they do, where they do it.

Automation in the way organizations and their employees interact is on trend for 2015.  Expect more in the way of automated greetings, messages, request, responses, updates, and more. For HR this will mean automatic reminders sent to personnel and then responses automatically processed and input into the system to generate tracking data.

You may have heard the phrase location, location, location when real estate value is discussed. When it comes to technology interaction between employees and the workplace the phrase to keep in mind is Mobile, Mobile and Mobile. Smartphones, laptops and tablets enable employees to access the web anywhere and anytime. In 2015 more organizations will be moving to mobile technology for evaluating, selection, performance management, and training of their employees making the hiring and development of employees faster and more accessible.

Looking down the road, with the growth in wearable technologies me may even start to see the enabling of tracking of information to populate the information HR needs to do business more effectively. Of course this may conflict with privacy laws requiring a lot of careful planning of what information is needed, how it is gathered and stored and what it is used for.

2) Less Consistent Staffing, More Just In Time

Organizations continue to evolve from companies where loyal employees remain to gradually move up the ladder to fast moving contingency based organizations with turn over, outsourcing and just in time hiring. Doing more with less means fewer resources, less training and less money allocated to hiring. Yet more hiring, not necessarily tied to any increase in overall workforce numbers, is anticipated. Organizations will begin to hire the people they need in the short term and then once those people’s skills or knowledge becomes outdated look to hire someone else who brings the next set of skills needed. However, this is going to butt up against the eventual retirement of baby boomers that will leave gaps in the workforce. As a result organizations may feel the crunch to hire immigrants or new graduates without experience or may have to consider spending time and resources to help their current employees or older individuals develop the skills needed to keep the company competitive.

According to those IO Psychologists, ‘Resource Optimization has become a core to many organization’s business strategy.”  Innovation to reduce waste, eliminate budget inefficiency and reduce operating cost are toping the agenda in many leadership meetings.

Tied to this theme is the question of ensuring equitable selection and hiring processes. The trend to the use of screening and using analytics to justify hiring selections will need to be supported by legally defendable hiring decisions. Hiring decisions that screen out individuals will need to demonstrate that they do not include hidden biases. Ensuring that screening out of employees is not a result of disability, cultural differences, social economic status, gender and more. The ability to identify key attributes of roles and positions and match employees based on their ability to do the job will grow more important.

3) No More Work Life Balance – Just Work Life

For more people work and life will be intertwined to the point of no visible differentiation meaning a non-work life may all but disappear for many workers. For those who can manage it well this can be a positive development. Finding a way to blend work and life effectively will be a carefully crafted balancing act for more people everyday. Organizations who help their employees effectively integrate a life into work and work into life will be better positioned to retain employees and ensure they stay productive. The organization will be tasked with finding ways to help employees navigate a 24/7 work cycle that includes only the appropriate 40 hour workweek.

As life and work integrate employees will seek to find ways to ensure that their organizations integrate with the communities within which they live. This will continue to fuel the trend towards the growth of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) Programs. CSR is becoming a requirement among organization who want their employees to be proud of where they work.

4) The Changing Face of The Workforce

You have been hearing it for sometime and it is even more on the agenda in 2015, the demographics in the workforce is on the march. Diversity and a multi-generation workforce will occupy more of your HR department thoughts then in the past.

Having diversity for the sake of diversity will not be enough. With the Canadian government’s new Express Entry program designed to fast-track immigrants into the workforce the government is setting the ground work for employees to bring on board and retain a diversity within their organizations. To drive more productivity and innovation leveraging all that diversity can bring will help an organization stay competitive.

The generational divide needs to rapidly become the blend of generations as those organizations who again find ways to leverage different generational perspectives, skills, and abilities can create teams where the employees learn and work together towards common goals.

Take the time to consider these trends as part of your 2015 planning to better manage your workforce into the second half of the second decade of the second millennial.


Society for Industrial and Organizational Psychology Announces Top 10 Workplace Trends for 2015